This article has been updated from a previous version to include remarks made by Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz during an earnings call.
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Qiagen reported after the close of the market on Wednesday that its first quarter revenues grew 12 percent year over year as the firm beat Wall Street estimates on the top and bottom lines.
For the three months ended March 31, Qiagen posted revenues of $343.6 million compared to $307.7 million a year ago, beating analysts' average estimate of $339.1 million. On an adjusted basis and at constant exchange rates (CER), Q1 revenues grew 6 percent year over year.
Of the total, instrument sales grew 1 percent at CER to approximately $37 million while consumable and related revenues grew 7 percent at CER to about $307 million.
"Qiagen exceeded the targets set for the first quarter of 2018," Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz said during a Thursday conference call recapping Q1 earnings. "Total net sales rose a solid 6 percent at constant exchange rates and beat our target for about 5 percent CER growth. These results even include a modestly negative impact from the changes in our business portfolio announced in the second half of 2017."
By customer class, molecular diagnostics — which is responsible for a little less than half of the company's sales — grew 9 percent at CER to $161.0 million, led by double-digit gains for its QuantiFeron-TB test and personalized healthcare due to companion diagnostic co-development projects.
Regarding QuantiFeron-TB, Schatz said during the call that Q1 results were "in line with our target for over $300 million in sales in 2020. We saw very strong growth in the US and Europe, while underlying growth in the Asia-Pacific region was more than offset by a very tough comparison to 2017 results" as well as tenders in South Korea.
Also in molecular diagnostics, Qiagen saw "robust growth and placements of our flagship QiaSymphony automation platform, even in light of 2017 having been the strongest year ever in terms of annual placements," Schatz said. "We are on track to achieve our goal for more than 2,300 cumulative placements at the end of this year."
Meanwhile, at CER applied testing was flat year over year at $31.0 million, pharma grew 8 percent to $71.0 million, and academia grew 3 percent to $81.0 million.
During the quarter Qiagen launched its Qia-StatDx syndromic infectious disease molecular testing system in Europe. In January Qiagen announced its plan to acquire the platform along with Spanish molecular diagnostics developer Stat-Dx for up to $191 million, a transaction that closed on April 27.
In addition, during the quarter Qiagen announced a partnership with Natera to develop next-generation sequencing assays for noninvasive prenatal testing and related assays for use with its GeneReader NGS system.
Qiagen Q1 net income grew to $32.3 million, or $.14 per share, from $17.7 million, or $.08 per share, in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, the firm's Q1 net income was $.26 per share, beating the analysts' consensus estimate of $.24 per share.
Qiagen's Q1 R&D spending increased 7 percent to $39.5 million from $36.9 million in the year-ago period, while its SG&A expenses grew 2 percent to $128.0 million from $125.5 million.
The company finished the quarter with $814.9 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $199.3 million in short-term investments.
Based on the strong Q1 results, Qiagen reaffirmed its previous guidance for total revenue growth of 6 percent to 7 percent at CER for full-year 2018. This guidance includes anticipated sales of about $7.0 million during the second half of the year from the acquisition of Stat-Dx. Qiagen also continues to expect adjusted EPS of $1.31 to $1.33 for full-year 2018. Analysts are expecting EPS of $1.34 for the year.
For the second quarter of 2018, Qiagen said it expects sales growth of 5 percent to 6 percent at CER, with the Qia-Stat launch not expected to generate any material sales during the quarter. Adjusted EPS is expected to be $.31 to $.32 at CER for Q2. Analysts are expecting EPS of $.32 for the next quarter.
Qiagen's shares were up nearly 6 percent to $34.33 in Thursday early afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.